Originally Posted by Joshie
I'd really recommend making friends with a horse trainer. Our riding teacher is a horse trainer and he picked out a horse for us. He asked my daughter what she wanted (size, etc.) and then he went around and looked at local horses for sale. He sent us pictures of a couple and we told him which ones we thought were prettier but told him that we thought he needed to decide. We never saw our horse in person until he brought the horse to his house on a week's trial.
When it comes time to actually buy, I always recommend this, too. It's very important that your desires, skill, and planned use match well with the horse. We have good, very experienced breeder/trainer/lesson friends down the road that will always watch you ride/ride with you, understand what you want FIRST, then give a list of horses that they think would be good matches...and go through the same steps with each possible choice, no matter how long it takes. Too many times, 'emotional' buying winds up with an unhappy horse and owner.